Mobile and tablet
internet usage is 56,55%
StatCounter Global Stats finds that mobile devices accounted for 52.31
percent and tablets for 4.24 percent of internet usage worldwide in
December 2017 compared to 43.45 percent by desktop.
Internet usage by mobile and tablet devices exceeded desktop
worldwide for the first time in October 2016 (it accounted for 48.7
percent then) and is continuously rising.
The countries with the highest levels of mobile internet consumption are
dispersed across Western Europe, Asia and North America.
image source: rawpixel.com
See full stats at:
25% of mobile queries
are voice searches
Voice is becoming more popular than typing in online search. In 2017,
according to Google and Bing, one in four searches is conducted by
talking, not typing. Comparing to 2016, 20 percent of mobile searches
were made using voice. ComScore predicts voice searches will reach 50
percent by 2020. That same year Echo alone will account for $7 billion
in voice transactions—or vcommerce—per investment firm Mizuho Bank.
Meanwhile, voice recognition accuracy continues to improve and is now
at about 95 percent.
Voice search had increased over 35 times the amount it was used back
in 2008. According to Search Engine Watch, the two top trends for voice
search have been ‘call mom’ and ‘navigate home’.
image source: unsplash.com
adweek.com & searchenginewatch.com
Voice commerce is exploding. Reportedly 57% of smart speaker owners
have bought something with their voice, according to survey data from
NPR and Edison Research.
Voice is decisively having its moment. People are talking, devices are
listening and brands should insert themselves into the conversation,
using Amazon Alexa voice skills and Google Home apps. Only a small
percentage of Alexa’s 25,000 voice skills are branded. Forward-thinking
brands should embrace the technology now, making voice skills a key
element of their marketing strategy.
1.15 billion users access
Facebook only on mobile
There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users (Mobile DAU) for
December 2016, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year.
There are 1.74 billion mobile monthly active users (Mobile MAU) for
December 2016 which is an increase of 21% year-over-year (source:
Facebook as of 2/01/17).
This is hugely significant and shows the dramatic growth of mobile traffic
Please note that this was the last official division received in IR press
releases of a delineation of mobile DAU and mobile MAU from other
Mobile advertising revenue is reported and according to Facebook,
it represented approximately 88 percent of advertising revenue for Q3
2017 up from 84 percent in Q3 2016.
investor.fb.com & zephoria.com
passed 1.3 billion MAUs
Messenger surpassed the 1.3 billion monthly active users mark
in September 2017. WhatsApp passed the same figure in July.
Both are owned by Facebook and enjoy two of the largest user bases
of any chat app on the planet.
On average, there were over 7 billion conversations taking place on
Messenger every day in 2017. At the same time, on average, 260 million
new conversation threads were started every day in 2017.
80 percent of adults (age 19-64) and 91 percent of teens (age 13-18)
message every day.
In 2017, people shared 18 billion GIFs and over 500 billion emojis
(nearly 1.7 billion every day).
In 2017, 2.5 million new groups were created on Messenger EVERY day
The average group chat includes 10 people.
Overall, there were 17 billion realtime video chats on Messenger,
marking 2 times as many video chat sessions in 2017 compared to 2016.
image source: facebook.com
venturebeat.com & newsroom.fb.com (1, 2)
Mobile accounts for
the majority of
digital ad spending
First of all, 2017 was the year digital ad spending finally beat TV.
Digital ad spending reached $209 billion worldwide — 41 percent of the
market — in 2017, while TV brought in $178 billion — 35 percent of the
market — in 2017. That’s according to Magna, the research arm of media
buying firm IPG Mediabrands.
Other stats, from the latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report, says
that for the first time mobile ads accounted for more than half of digital
ad spending. “This increasing commitment is a reflection of brands’
ongoing marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to
keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers” said IAB CEO Randall
Rothenberg in a press release.
image source: mobyaffiliates.com
recode.net & techcrunch.com
image source: unsplash.com
Verizon closed $4.5B
acquisition of Yahoo
In June 2017 Verizon announced that it has finally completed its
$4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo, which it plans to combine with
its AOL assets into a subsidiary called Oath, covering some 50 media
brands (including TechCrunch) and 1 billion people globally.
The sale of Yahoo is another sign of the massive consolidation that
continues to happen in the world of online media and content, as large
companies look to bring together multiple audiences for economies
of scale to build out stronger advertising businesses in competition with
the likes of Google and Facebook.
image source: money.cnn.com
Cisco bought AppDynamics
- machine learning startup
On March 22nd, 2017, Cisco completed its acquisition of AppDynamics
Inc, a privately held software leader in application and business
performance monitoring, located in San Francisco CA. AppDynamics
empowers enterprises to watch every line of code and understand
how their code impacts user experience and application and
infrastructure performance, while providing real-time insight into
everything going on in digital business.
AppDynamics as a new software business unit in Cisco's IoT and
Applications business, will serve a critical role in helping drive Cisco's
continued transformation into a software company with recurring
image source: techcrunch.com
Apple bought Shazam
for $400 million
Apple Inc. agreed to acquire music-identification service Shazam,
taking ownership of one of the first apps to demonstrate the power
of the iPhone, recognizing songs after hearing just a few bars of a tune.
The acquisition would help Apple embed that capability more deeply
into its music offerings. The company’s digital assistant Siri gained
Shazam integration in 2014, so users could ask it what song is playing
in the background.
Shazam is one of Apple's largest acquisitions ever.
image source: shazam.com
Chime, mobile banking
startup raised $18 million
Chime provides a mobile banking platform that enables members to
avoid fees and save money automatically via a debit card, a spending
account, a savings account, and an app that keeps them in control.
This, San Francisco, CA-based mobile banking startup, raised $18m in
Series B financing. With over 500,000 bank accounts opened since the
company's 2014 launch, this latest round of financing will be used to
accelerate growth and to develop new products to improve financial
Without monthly fees or overdraft charges, Chime tries to appeal to the
millennial generation, touting its affordability and easy-to-use app.
image source: chimebank.com
startup UK bank Atom
One year on since Atom officially launched the UK’s first bank built
exclusively for mobile, they have announced will.i.am as their first
Strategic Board Advisor. In this new role will.i.am - with his keen interest
in technology, will provide the Durham-based bank with an external
perspective on culture, philanthropy and technology.
Rapper is no stranger to investing in technology. He has previously
launched a smartwatch with Deutchse Telekom and worked on projects
with Apple and Intel.
image source: youtube.com
Google and PayPal digital
PayPal Holdings Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google deepened their
relationship with a new agreement that enables payments through the
tap of a phone from PayPal accounts. This solution helps to speed
checkout from Android phones by using Android Pay to seamlessly
authenticate users where PayPal is accepted. It is available on Android
OS 4.4 and higher, including KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat.
The partnership enables customers to pay across even more contexts,
and extends PayPal’s mobile leadership and reach as consumers become
more comfortable shopping and buying on their mobile devices.
image source: techcrunch.com
iPhone X - Apple’s
vision of the future
Apple’s iPhone X is the company’s biggest change to its flagship
smartphone in years. It includes a borderless, OLED screen, wireless
charging, Face ID and no home button.
CEO Tim Cook said the new phone, which will be the firm’s most
expensive starting at $999, is intended to signal where its smartphones
are headed in the future. Cook suggested the technology in the iPhone X
was an indication of the company’s philosophy going forward: simpler,
cleaner and more intuitive to use.
Since its release on November 3, till somewhere around middle of
December, Apple sold roughly around 36 millions of iPhone X’s.
image source: apple.com
theverge.com & forbes.com
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
iPhone 8 is very much the iPhone 7S, an incremental upgrade on 2016’s
iPhone 7 with a few additions here and there.
There’s extra power under the hood, which powers Apple’s new AR app,
a tweaked display and camera, a glossy glass rear and the addition of
wireless charging – plus, it’s dust and water-resistant like its predecessor.
Tim Cook said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that the
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus “instantly” became Apple’s top-two selling
products at launch.
The iPhone 8 Plus is selling better than its smaller brother with 29.1
million sold over iPhone 8’s 23.6 million. But they both been overtake
in sales by iPhone X.
image source: apple.com
techradar.com & forbes.com
Samsung 2017 flagship
In April Samsung released Galaxy S8 (and its bigger brother S8 Plus).
Its design, performance, display, and reliably excellent camera quickly
put it at the top of the pack among Android phones and kept it there
Then, in August, Samsung released the ill-fated Note 7’s successor,
the Galaxy Note 8. Much like the Galaxy S8, the Note 8 proved to be
an excellent device. It’s also introduced Samsung’s take on a dual-
camera system, which lets it capture portrait-mode images like the larger
Both models have Samsung’s new voice assistant - Bixby, which later
turn out to be no more useful than the Google Assistant.
image source: news.samsung.com
Google Pixel 2
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were announced in October.
Despite their different sizes, they are nearly identical where it counts,
in their cameras, their performance, their build quality, and their software
experience. While the Pixel 2 XL has slimmer bezels and a slightly more
washed-out pOLED display, the smaller Pixel 2 contends with a more
dated-looking form factor and a smaller battery.
But the true power of new Google phones is software. Newest version of
Android and lot of features based on AI like assistant or Google Lens.
AI is also used in new camera which has highest ever score in DxOMark
image source: blog.google
Andy Rubin co-created Android, the smartphone operating system that
powers 2 billion devices around the world. After leaving Google,
he launched a new project: The Essential PH-1.
It’s an Android smartphone, unsurprisingly, but one with an edge-to-
edge screen, innovative accessories (ex. 360 camera), and high-end
materials (titanium and ceramics) that set it apart from the crowd.
As time showed Essential didn’t conquered the market but showed new
and fresh approach.
image source: theverge.com
The first high-end
„Nokia” phone in years
In August HMD Global announced the Nokia 8, first high-end
smartphone the Finnish company has released since it acquired rights to
the famed Nokia brand last year. Along with flagship phone,
the partnership between Nokia and Zeiss returns to the market.
Nokia 8, as the first smartphone, introduces the function of combining
image from the front and back cameras. The manufacturer calls this
solution "dual sight" and does not hide that it is directed primarily to the
creators of content, streaming live video on Facebook or YouTube.
This function also allows users to take pictures with both cameras at the
image source: nokia.com
Xiaomi Mi A1 - the best
phone on Android One
Xiaomi has launched the Mi A1, a smartphone that is unlike any from
the company before, and that is because it doesn’t have the familiar
MIUI user interface over the top of Google Android.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 has a higher specification than the majority of other
Android One phones. Without a doubt, this is the best Android One
phone Google ever made, a device that probably wouldn’t be possible
without a partnership with Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker whose
business is to sell top smartphones at cost.
The Mi A1 has its premiere in India on September 12 for the local
equivalent of around $235, and later in the month offered in 40 more
countries (i.e. Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Greece,
Poland, Russia, Egypt, South Africa, Columbia, and Mexico).
image source: forbes.com
Google Clips -
a new ‘AI-first‘ camera
Clips, Google’s new camera, makes a lot of freshness in this segment
of products due to the new formula. Unlike other cameras it’s designed
essentially for passive use, as a way to help capture moments that you’d
miss with a dedicated camera or your smartphone.
Clips grabs “motion photos,” the new picture format that Google created
that includes some brief movement around the frame. It doesn’t grab
audio, but it does have smart recognition features. It works by using AI
to instantly recognize faces of special interest to its owner and,
when it spots those faces, takes candid pictures of them. Clips also
doesn’t use any kind of network connection, so it’s not broadcasting
the stuff it captures anywhere.
image source: blog.google
A Reddit PSA or Public Service Announcement article published in early
December brought to light an iOS software upgrade that can negatively
impact the performance or shut down an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 7, 7 Plus or SE
under certain conditions.
It escalated into major concerns that Apple was purposefully degrading
iPhones so that users would need to upgrade. This has led to a
substantial amount of negative publicity and over a dozen lawsuits.
Apple has apologized to customers for deliberately slowing the
performance of older iPhone models without users’ consent and that
it would replace batteries for the impacted iPhones during 2018 for $29
versus the typical price of $79. It will also update iOS so that users can
have more information about their iPhone’s battery performance.
image source: cnet.com
Apple announced HomePod
At the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled
its much-rumored Siri-based speaker. HomePod, which has been in the
works for years, is designed to reinvent the way music is enjoyed in the
home, and, according to Apple, it does something that no other
company has managed to do - combines a smart speaker with incredible
To do that Apple packed 7 high-end speakers and subwoofer with
8 microphones and A8 chip in a small 3D mesh fabric body.
HomePod integrates with Apple Music and features built-in Siri support.
Siri commands can be used to control all HomeKit-connected smart
devices, positioning the HomePod as a centralized home control
Apple originally planned to launch HomePod in December 2017,
but later this year the company announced it will be delaying the launch
until early 2018.
image source: macrumors.com
Echo Spot - smart alarm
clock from Amazon
A smart alarm clock provides a way to get your phone out of your
bedroom and still maintain useful things like weather reports, smart
home device control and of course telling the time. Without distractions
like email, social media apps or a web browser.
One of Amazon’s big selling points for the Spot is the ability to use it
for video calling, just like the Echo Show. Calls can be made to other
Echo devices with screens or phones via Amazon’s Alexa app.
image source: androidcentral.com
Google Home can make
Just days after Amazon revealed a new Echo device with a screen,
Google announced a slew of new capabilities for its own connected
Home users will be able to make hands-free phone calls through
the device. Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free, while Home owners
can choose to link their phone number to the gadget. (Amazon recently
announced a similar feature, but calling is limited to Echo-to-Echo
communication for now). Because Google Home can tell the difference
between various users’ voices, it will know to call the right person
depending on who’s placing the call.
Google is also launching a new Home feature called “proactive
assistance,” which is basically a different term for notifications (another
feature that arrived on the Echo this month.) When the Home’s
microphone lights up, users will be able to ask the Home if it has any
important updates to share, such as a change to an upcoming calendar
appointment or a flight delay.
image source: blog.google
Amazon working on
Amazon is planning to release a pair of Alexa-enabled smartglasses
as the latest addition to its range of voice-controlled devices, according
Unlike most previous smartglasses, such as the ill-fated Google Glass
experiment and Snapchat’s Spectacles, the Amazon glasses won’t
feature a camera in any form, bypassing the privacy concerns that have
plagued the form-factor in the past.
image source: mirror.co.uk
Microsoft is finally killing off
the Windows Phone
After 17 years, Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore said the company
has no plans to adding new features or building new devices that run the
mobile Windows Phone operating system. Phones running Windows
Phone 10 or earlier will continue to work, but they won't receive updates
containing new features. Any update will simply contain general support,
like bug fixes and security updates.
The last phones developed by Microsoft were part of the Microsoft
Lumia line. The company sold the license rights to the Nokia products to
Finnish company HMD in 2016.
Company recently shifted its focus to making Windows apps for Android
and iPhone's iOS mobile operating systems.
image source: phonecheck.com
ARKit - Apple’s new
augmented reality platform
In mid 2017 Apple has announced a tool it calls ARKit, which provides
advanced augmented reality capabilities on iOS.
ARKit lets app makers draw on detailed camera and sensor data to map
digital objects into 3D space. This lets them move beyond simple 2D
camera overlays, without requiring the heavy-duty software engineering
behind more advanced tools like Snapchat world lenses.
This move could also let the company compete against Google, which
currently sets the gold standard for phone-based augmented reality.
image source: appletoolbox.com
Google shutted down
Tango AR platform
Tango, one of Google's earliest experiments in augmented reality, will
shut down on March 1, 2018. Giant is continuing AR development with
ARCore, a new platform designed for building augmented reality apps
for a broad range of devices without the requirement for specialised
hardware (in opposite to Tango).
‘Project Tango’ was first introduced in 2014. It uses computer vision to
enable mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to detect their
position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other
external signals. This allows developers to create user experiences that
include indoor navigation, 3D mapping, physical space measurement,
environmental recognition, AR and windows into a virtual world.
image source: digitaltrends.com
Google has come out at Google I/O ’17 conference with the creation of
Auto Machine Learning (AutoML), an artificial intelligence (AI) that’s
capable of generating its own AIs. The AutoML project focuses on deep
learning, a technique that involves passing data through layers of neural
networks. Creating these layers is complicated, so Google’s idea was to
create AI that could do it for them.
AutoML has potential to impact many of the other AI and machine
learning-driven softwares. It could lead to improvements in the speech
recognition tech required for a voice-controlled Google Home, the facial
recognition software powering the Suggested Sharing feature in Google
Photos, and the image recognition technology utilized by Google Lens,
which allows the user to point their Google Phone at an object (such as a
flower) in order to identify it.
for low-end phones
Google is working on a version of Android called Android Go that’s
optimized to work on low-end phones with under 1GB of memory (most
high-end phones have around 4GB.) Go is also built to help users
budget their bandwidth: When using the Android Go version of
YouTube, for instance, users will be able to preview videos and see
exactly how much data they will eat up before deciding to stream a full
Android Go is similar in spirit to Google’s Android One program, which
offers low-cost Android devices to users in developing markets.
image source: androidauthority.com
Google's latest version of its mobile platform has been announced
in August and it’s brought some new features.
Picture-in-Picture mode lets you pop a video screen (such as YouTube
or a video chat) out of its application and into a smaller panel on screen.
Notification dots allowing to quickly see what’s happening without
having to open up the app – or swipe down the notification bar.
Google’s done a whole load of work under the hood to make Android 8
the fastest iteration of its mobile platform ever. In fact, Google claims
that Android Oreo will be able to load apps and boot up at up to twice
the speed of Android Nougat. Oreo also will improve the device’s
Using its machine learning „Copy & paste” is about to get smart.
Highlight a phone number and Android Oreo will suggest the Phone
app, select an email address and it'll offer up a link to Gmail etc.
image source: android.com
The Google Assistant
The Google Assistant digital aide is getting a big visual upgrade.
In the coming months, users will be able to point their phone at a sign in
a different language and watch as it’s translated before their very eyes.
Or, if they aim their phone at a theater, it could show upcoming
showtimes and an option to buy tickets. That’s all thanks to Google’s
Lens app, which is similar to the Bixby Vision feature Samsung offers on
its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
Furthermore, the Google Assistant is coming to Apple iPhones as a
standalone app. It won’t be baked in at the operating system level like
Siri is, so it will be limited in how useful it is for iPhone owners. But it can
still do things like the Lens features above.
image source: pcworld.com
Google shifts from
mobile-first to AI-first world
Over the last year, Google has made ripples in the tech world by
deciding to pursue AI-first strategies in place of mobile-first strategies,
which the company has prioritized for the better part of a decade.
From software to hardware and everything in between, it’s clear that
the world’s tech leader sees infinite potential in artificial intelligence
and machine learning.
Google’s focus on AI platforms and machines comes at a time where
public perception is shifting ever so slightly. Whereas very few people
were even familiar with the idea of machine learning 10 or 15 years ago,
according to a global study from Pega, 72 percent of people now
understand what AI is and only 28 percent are uncomfortable with
the thought of it.
image source: fonow.com
Edit photos with a voice
commands from Adobe
Intelligent virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are
quickly picking up skills and popularity. At the beginning of the year
Adobe’s research team has shared a new video showing off a working
version of Lightroom Mobile that has an integrated voice assistant, that’s
used to edit photos via voice commands. Rather than using fingertips to
adjust the sliders and icons within Lightroom Mobile, the conceptual
assistant will wait for instructions and alter the image(s) accordingly.
In the near future Adobe wants to grow multimodal voice-based
interface which allows their creative customers to search and edit
images in an easy and engaging way.
image source: cultofmac.com
Wells Fargo working on
Wells Fargo & Co. is developing a voice biometrics-based payments
offering for consumers that will reportedly expand beyond the basic
day-to-day functionality offered by current virtual financial assistants.
Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo’s innovation group, highlighted 3 key
phases in creating a voice-first future, including information exchange,
funds transfer and personalized advice. He said the majority of banks
are in the ‘information exchange’ phase, Wells Fargo is optimistic that
it will soon enter the ‘fund transfer’ phase.
Ellis did not specify when the bank would introduce the new capability
but said it would be “a shorter time frame than three to five years.”
image source: tearsheet.co
Yapı Kredi introduced eye
scanning for app logins
Turkish digital bank Yapı Kredi started letting customers log into their
mobile accounts by scanning their eyes.
The bank has leveraged advanced eye scanning technology for the first
time in Europe as a highly secure login system for Yapı Kredi Mobile that
scans eye blood vessels of the user, which is unique for each customer.
The new features come hot on the heels of a Yapı Kredi bot on Facebook
Messenger which lets users - including non-customers - find branches
and ATMs, view exchange rate information and make exchange rate or
loan calculations. With the new BankingBot app, the number of
messages Bank receive via Facebook Messenger has increased 10 times.
image source: unsplash.com
are driving social change
Facebook opened up the Messenger platform to developers in 2016,
and since then more than 100,000 unique bots have been created.
One can notice the recent surge of social good among them—whether
it's a bot helping new activists find local protests in the Trump era
(WeBot), connecting refugees with translators in real time (Tarjimly),
coaching women through salary negotiations (AskCindyGallop),
and even encouraging talks about mental health (i.e. Woebot, Joy).
It's a trend Facebook itself has noticed, and that the company
is encouraging. Over the past year, Facebook's Social Good team
has launched several community-focused products like fundraisers
and the Community Help tool, and in February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg
published a 6,000-word manifesto all about the company's mission
to "build global community."
image source: mashable.com
Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter
and YouTube announced
formation of the Global
Internet Forum to counter
The spread of terrorism and violent extremism is a pressing global
problem and a critical challenge for the world. In June 2017, Facebook,
Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced the formation of the Global
Internet Forum to counter terrorism, which should help continue to make
their hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists and violent
image source: www.behance.net/simonealtamura
Amazon Prime Air -
first demo delivery in the US
Amazon made its first public demo of the system in the US. A Prime Air
drone dropped off some bottles of sunscreen for attendees at the
company’s invite-only MARS conference. And although the order was
prearranged, the delivery itself was fully autonomous.
Amazon Prime Air vice president Gur Kimchi said the flight brings the
company “one step closer to making 30-minute package delivery by
drone a reality”.
Despite all the work Amazon has put into this concept, it still needs
regulatory approval if it’s ever going to operate at scale. Autonomous
drone delivery is still prohibited in the US, and Amazon has complained
that the regulatory system is too slow to adapt.
image source: amazon.com
Calm - the iPhone app
of the year
Apple elected Calm, meditation and sleep app, as the app of the year
for iPhone, and Splitter Critters as iPhone game of the year.
For iPad, Apple has chosen Affinity Photo, the desktop-class photo
editor, and the game The Witness.
The most downloaded apps from App Store include Bitmoji, Snapchat,
YouTube, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook. Super Mario Run tops
the most downloaded games chart, followed by 8 Ball Pool, Snake VS
Block, Ballz, Word Cookies and Subway Surfers.
Apple also highlighted the most interesting and important trends in app
culture. Apple features augmented reality, online realtime mobile
games, environmentally-minded apps for sustainable living, and apps to
help with parenting.
image source: calm.com
the Messenger Kids app
In December 2017, a preview of Messenger Kids was rolled out, a new
app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with
family and friends when they can’t be together in person. After talking to
thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting
experts in the US, Facebook found that there’s a need for a messaging
app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level
of control parents want.
Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one
or group video chat with parent-approved contacts. The home screen
shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when
those contacts are online. The communicator gives the opportunity
to be more attractive with special effects (such as masks, emojis, sounds).
image source: newsroom.fb.com
newsroom.fb.com & messengerkids.com
Payments in Messenger
came to the UK and France
Messenger's own payment system is about to be available to everyone
in the UK and France in the coming weeks.
With this feature, people will be able to send money to others in their
country (from a person in the UK to another person in the UK, for
example) but not across borders.
The rollout is the first time peer-to-peer payments on Messenger have
been made available outside of the US, where it was introduced back
in 2015. It also moves the app closer to China's biggest messaging app,
image source: newsroom.fb.com
Amazon's Apple TV
app broke record
Amazon Prime Video app on Apple TV had the most ever first-week
downloads of any tvOS app after launching on December 6, according
to a report from BESTAppleTV.com.
Prime Video is very popular as a rival to Netflix and HBO NOW. Apple
gave Amazon a little help pushing the app to Apple TV customers by
promoting Prime Video for tvOS with paid tweets, via tvOS’s splash
screen, through the rebranded @AppleTV account, in tvOS App Store
and on its TV app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
Unfortunately it is not known exactly how many downloads Amazon's
app achieved, only that it was most first-week downloads.
image source: macrumors.com
expanded to Europe
In August 2017, Facebook started to roll out Marketplace to 17 countries
across Europe (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland), giving more people
a single destination on Facebook to discover, buy and sell goods in their
Before that, Marketplace has been available in six countries (Australia,
Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK).
image source: newsroom.fb.com
In August 2017, Facebook rolled out Watch, a new platform for shows on
Facebook. Watch is available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in
TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow
a theme or storyline.
Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized
around what your friends and communities are watching. For example,
you’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that
spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes
shows where many people have used the Haha reaction, and “What
Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about
shows they too are following.
When you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with other
viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group
for the show.
image source: newsroom.fb.com
suggestions for M
M was announced over a year ago, as a helpful assistant in Messenger.
At the beginning it was an artificial intelligence experiment powered by
humans. Now it’s automated. Since April 2017, M offers suggestions by
popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and
capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done.
Suggestions from M appear when it recognizes intent in a conversation
and initially will include the following actions: sending stickers, paying or
requesting money, sharing location, starting a poll (in group
conversations), getting a ride (US only).
image source: thematridox.com
Google Maps can help
In January Google rolled out a "parking difficulty" icon in Maps which, as
its name suggests, explains how hard it will be to find a spot for your
vehicle. After indicating the location in navigation mode, the icon with
the letter P appears at the bottom of the screen, and next to it,
information about the availability of parking spaces - large, medium or
Google Maps is becoming a more and more powerful tool from year to
year, which in many cases can successfully replace dedicated GPS
image source: engadget.com
WeChat rolled out
China’s top messaging app, with over 840 million active users, rolled out
‘mini programs’, embedded apps which require no download or install.
Mini programs can do 80 percent of what native apps are doing, with
only 20 percent of the development efforts.
With mini programs, users no longer need to go to App Store to
download and install apps before using their functions. Users can access
these apps within a new panel inside WeChat, near where the equivalent
of Facebook’s newsfeed is. On Android phones, mini programs can even
spawn homescreen icons that look exactly like regular apps.
Google showed off a similar feature called Instant Apps for Android in
May last year, but it has yet to launch. Some of the initial instant apps
show the huge potential of the feature. Half of WeChat users spend at
least 90 minutes each day within the app. With its ‘mini programs’,
China’s social media giant wants even more of people’s time.
image source: theverge.com
This is one of the most interesting applications of the year 2017.
Mobile Passport Control is the first app in the US that claims it can speed
up an American citizen's re-entry to the country. The app makes the
process easier by creating a basic traveller profile with passport deals,
date of birth and photo identification already on it, locked with a pin
code to ensure its safety. This creates a receipt that can then be shown
at border control with a much shorter queue and can save hours
As of now, it's only available in the US and Canada.
image source: mohemian.com
Apple’s ARKit earned
Augmented-reality got a boost this year when IKEA, a longtime adopter
of consumer-friendly 3D-image technology, took a remarkable lead with
its AR-focused Place, quickly embracing Apple’s ARKit in the process.
The app allows consumers to combine shopping with the realities of
their location — viewing furniture at true scale in their homes.
IKEA previously released a Catalog app with a similar 3D visualization
tool, but the UI was tiny and it required the physical paper catalog for it
to work properly. It’s also questionable how accurate to scale its 3D
products were, whereas IKEA Place is supposed to display furniture scale
with 98 percent accuracy, in addition to lighting and shadows.
IKEA Place is free to download from the App Store.
image source: glamour.pl
Google Photos makes
real-life albums now
Google announced a new service that creates photo books based on
the images in your phone’s gallery. If you’re using the Google Photos
app, you’ll be able to search for images of a specific person. From there,
Google Photos can choose the best photos and arrange them
in an album that you can order.
Google also announced other sharing-centric features for Google
Photos. You can, for instance, choose to share your entire photo library
with your spouse or a family member. If you don’t want them seeing
your entire collection, you can limit the sharing to only include photos
of specific people, like your kids.
image source: photos.google.com
character count to 280
In November Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters rolled out publicly to
all users in supported languages, including English. The company had
first announced the controversial plan to move beyond its traditional
140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer
character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without
running out of room to tweet.
Twitter said that those who tweeted in languages like Japanese, Korean
and Chinese were able to express around double the amount of
information in a single character, compared with users who spoke
English, Spanish, Portuguese or French, for example.
The company believes that the key to growing its user base is making
the service easier for newcomers. Reducing roadblocks – like the inability
to finish a thought – could help with that.
image source: twitter.com
Uber rolled out a web app
for the global market
As they expand to new markets and want to enable all users to quickly
request a ride, regardless of location, network speed, and device, Uber
rebuilt their web client from the ground up as a viable alternative to the
native mobile app.
Compatible with all modern browsers, m.uber (pronounced moo-ber)
offers an app-like experience for riders on low-end devices, including
those not supported by our native client. The app is also tiny—the core
ride request app comes in at just 50kB, enabling the app to load quickly
even on 2G networks.
image source: techcrunch.com
This report was created by
Mobee Dick team.
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